The 78-year-old actor, who is a long-time environmental activist, tells TIME that it’s imperative for those in power to view climate change as a scientific reality. “The climate crisis is real—the weight of scientific evidence is overwhelming…but evidence can be ignored, it can be manipulated,” he says. “Leaders who choose to make climate change a divisive issue do it to protect the entrenched economic interests who profit from behavior that destroys our planet. It’s selfish. It’s short-sighted. It needs to stop…This s— is going to kill us.”
In a new short film released by Conservation International on Thursday, Ford, who is vice chairman of the environmental nonprofit’s board, delivers a voiceover in which he discusses why prioritizing nature and science is more critical than ever. “The necessary foundation of our lives is a vital healthy natural world—our source of clean water, food and a stable climate,” he says. “We’re watching that foundation crumble.”
He goes on to urge people to support companies that value human lives over short-term profit, hold businesses that fund the destruction of nature accountable and vote for candidates who not only recognize what’s at stake, but are willing to face environmental challenges head-on.
“We have people in leadership positions who refuse to accept objective science,” he says. “They’re robbing us of the ability to collaborate, to compromise, to move forward.”
Ford previously spoke out against leaders who deny or refuse to address climate change during a speech at the 2019 World Government Summit in Dubai. “Around the world, elements of leadership, including in my own country, to preserve their stake in the status quo, deny or denigrate science,” he said. “They are on the wrong side of history.”